Many Flaws But Irresistible
June 2011
  • beautiful retro design
  • impressive build quality
  • old-style exposure control dials
  • excellent sensor-image quality (but lens corner softness at open apertures)
  • innovative hybrid viewfinder
  • very quiet


  • price, not good value
  • menu operations
  • lens corner softness at open apertures
  • funky, buggy firmware

  • despite its many flaws, the X100 is irresistible

It's hard for one not to smile if one is lucky enough to get a hand on a Finepix X100 from Fujifilm - it's in very short supply at the moment. The camera's retro design and concept make it unique in the current digital camera offerings - this is what really draws us to the camera. The design takes inspiration from classic rangefinders, using dials to set speed and exposure compensation. Fijifilm calls the viewfinder 'hybrid', which can be switched between an optical and an electronic mode (OVF and EVF). The timer look-alike knob in front of the camera is used for switching viewfinder modes.


The OVF is bright which is good for action street photography, but the frame lines have too much parallax for architecture shooting. We like the EVF much better because you get what you see and the resolution is excellent, but in manual focus mode, the distance scale obscures the lower part of the image. The lens is compact and nice, when stopped down a little. At open aperture the corners are very soft. For a retro camera, manual focusing ability should be better implemented than what found in the X100.


The camera operations are very quirky, with many little annoying behaviors. The firmware exhibits 'buggy' behaviors, the camera sometimes shutdown willy-nilly.


The thing we like most about this camera is its very silent leaf shutter. Without having to windup film, while you shoot with the X100, people might think you are just showing off a pretty camera.


The X100 has so many frustrating flaws in its operations that it's no fun to list them here. However, in hand, the camera is irresistible and inspires us to take pictures. What settings are really required to take a picture anyway? iso, wb, color, focus, aperture & shutter speed. Maybe a true retro camera's settings should be stripped down to only these so that we can just concentrate on taking pictures. When using the X100, we just keep it simple to enjoy picture taking. There are many cameras that can capture higher image-quality, that are much more versatile and better value, but few can match the X100 in giving the pleasure of photography.


>> madrid photo gallery

  • fixed-lens camera
  • price with lens when tested: $1199
  • June 2011 street price: $1199
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • 35mm equivalent fixed lens / F 2.0
  • multi-format: 3:2, 16:9
  • 2.8" LCD (460Kpixels)
  • hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder (1440Kpixels)
  • 720 HD video
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
  • rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • dimension: 5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1 in.
  • weight: 15.7 oz.
  • Finepix X100 info @